Skydance Animation announced Wednesday that legendary composer Alan Menken, known for his award-winning work on animated favourites The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Enchanted and Tangled, will compose original music and score for the upcoming musical fantasy Spellbound (working title). Menken is joined by celebrated lyricist and frequent collaborator Glenn Slater (Tangled) and lauded music producer Chris Montan (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen).
Menken, Slater and Montan are the latest award-winning talent to join the studio’s expanding creative roster as it continues to build its ambitious production slate. Skydance Animation recently announced a global expansion with the formation of Skydance Animation Madrid.
The animated feature is led by acclaimed director Vicky Jenson (Shrek, Shark Tale) and written by Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin (Mulan) and Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King). Spellbound is set in a world of magic where a young girl must break the spell that has split her kingdom in two.
“Alan Menken’s music defines a generation and is loved by audiences around the world,” said Jenson. “From day one, we knew this magical world would be full of music, and we knew only Alan could bring it to life. With Glenn and Chris on board, their combined creativity adds so much depth and complexity to the emotions of our characters and this very unique story. It is a true honour to collaborate with this team.”
“I’m thrilled to be united with so many talented collaborators and very much look forward to working with Vicky Jenson, Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin,” said Menken. “Spellbound promises to be quite unique and inspiring.”
Menken’s career has spanned over four decades and has earned him eight Academy Awards — more than any living person — as well as numerous other awards including Golden Globes, Grammys, Drama Desk Awards and a Tony. He is best known for composing the score and writing songs for several Disney animated films including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules and Tangled. His work also includes the onstage musicals Little Shop of Horrors, A Christmas Carol, A Bronx Tale and Sister Act as well as adaptations of his film work such as Newsies.